Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Critique these boxes please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,383

    Critique these boxes please

    The ash box was a piece of firewood that I used to warm up with so quick and dirty. The walnut box I made right after out of some really dry walnut (it was cut into a bowl blank years ago and had cracked so I cut it into smaller usable pieces. The ash piece is 3 inches wide and 4 inches tall, the walnut is 4 inches wide and 3 inches tall (both are approximations).

    Thanks in advance for looking and I look forward to the guidance.

    Boxes.jpgboxes1.jpg

    Edit: forgot to mention that I managed a suction fit on both lids.
    "The reward of a thing well done is having done it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    621
    Nicely done. I think they look pretty good with nice detail.

    The comments are my views of what I like and is just one opinion not a rule.
    When I saw the high lip on the first photo I thought there will not be a good grain matching between the top and the lid but you got a nice effect with the "grain circles" top and bottom. Doing end-grain I use a thin parting tool and a small lip so the grain match between top and bottom when assembled is hardly noticeable.
    I sat on the fence about the bead interface between the top and bottom thinking maybe it would be better without it, but maybe not. However, what is does give you is a nice way of disguising the actual joint.
    I might have gone with a little less lid depth on the walnut piece.
    Suction fit is the often mentioned standard for lid/base fit. Can be a problem if the humidity or stress relaxation upsets the dimensions and the lid won't come off or rotate to an ideal orientation. Some turners will hollow the box and then let it sit a day or two before their final adjustment of the fit.
    I recently read something from a turner who said something like he goes for a nice fit but not a tight fit so people aren't used to picking the box up by the lid and then one day the bottom falls to the floor. This would also alleviate humidity concerns.
    Last edited by Bill Howatt; 03-02-2024 at 1:00 PM. Reason: I mis-spoke about end grain

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,383
    Hey Bill, thank you for the input! Both of these were end grain hollowed (both spindles) and yes, I'm using the beads to mask the join. I also like the thin parting tool over the diamond shaped so I use that to separate the top from the body.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    621
    John, due to old-timers disease I miss-spoke about the end-grain orientation and have corrected my post.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Tampa Bay area
    Posts
    1,094
    I think you have done some nice work. the lip is too tall on both boxes in my opinion though.

    You have a decent top to bottom grain match, even with the tall lip. I often part the lid at the line I want the finished box. Then "install" a lip from a different piece of wood. Doing it this way the only wood you lose between top and bottom is the thickness of your parting tool.

    Adding a comment about the suction fit for the lid. Anytime I do the piston fit it is good for a short while only. More often than not the box eventually goes out of round slightly causing the lid to need to be indexed to remove or install. I now make the fit just a tiny bit loose. Still have an occasional problem down the road though here in Florida.
    Last edited by Robert Hayward; 03-02-2024 at 2:57 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,383
    Thank you, Robert. I'll work on the lip going forward.

    The way I did the suction fit was to put the tiniest of dovetails on the mating pieces so the lid spins freely once seated but gives a bit of resistance as you open. I'll keep an eye on this one and see how far out of round it goes and how it affects things. Thanks again!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hayward View Post
    I think you have done some nice work. the lip is too tall on both boxes in my opinion though.

    You have a decent top to bottom grain match, even with the tall lip. I often part the lid at the line I want the finished box. Then "install" a lip from a different piece of wood. Doing it this way the only wood you lose between top and bottom is the thickness of your parting tool.

    Adding a comment about the suction fit for the lid. Anytime I do the piston fit it is good for a short while only. More often than not the box eventually goes out of round slightly causing the lid to need to be indexed to remove or install. I now make the fit just a tiny bit loose. Still have an occasional problem down the road though here in Florida.
    I'm in total agreement with Robert.
    I've made boxes/jars before and it can be difficult to proportion the lid to the body.
    Here is one of mine to simply show a contrast to yours. Mine maybe too small for some tastes.
    WR Uars.jpg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,383
    Edward, those are great and thanks for sharing. Two questions if you don't mind: what type of finish is that and how do you inlay the tops that way?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Tampa Bay area
    Posts
    1,094
    Not Ed, but here is what I do. Pictures also show a box with an "installed" lip.

    I turn a round recess in the top. Then turn a round inlay of the correct diameter to match the recess on the lid. Glue the plug into the recess and them turn as normal. I will often put a very small V groove at the junction of the inlay and the lid. This adds nice detail and cures any grain feathering at the junction.

    The blue is dyed epoxy used to fill cracks in the wood. I frequently turn "found" wood that is rarely dried with a woodworker in mind.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    4,486
    The Golden Mean says the lower section of a box like that should be 1 5/8 to 1 tall for the top. That first walnut box looks like all top. I make my calipers from 1/8" hardboard, but here is the information. Once you make one of these calipers, stat checking things around the house. An old glass Coke bottle reads right off the caliper. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxXI5a6B79s

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Mid West and North East USA
    Posts
    2,909
    Blog Entries
    2
    Really nice! The loveliness of the wood really pops. Very interesting shapes too.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,383
    Robert, thanks!!! I'm going to try this very soon. Also, thanks for sharing those pics.

    Richard, you mean in the second pic? It does look quite disproportionate there but I think that may be the camera angle. The base is both wider and taller than the lid (top is 7/8" and the base is 1.75" without the lip). I made one of those calipers after reading, "By Hand and Eye" but I can't remember where I put them, thanks for reminding me of them.

    Maurice, thank you for the nice compliment.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by John Kananis View Post
    Edward, those are great and thanks for sharing. Two questions if you don't mind: what type of finish is that and how do you inlay the tops that way?
    Robert Hayward summed it up nicely
    I believe the finish is General Finishes Wood Bowl Finish
    https://generalfinishes.com/wood-fin...od-bowl-finish

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,383
    Can someone recommend a good book on box making? There's just too many to chose from.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •